PGA Championship 2014: staff predictions

PGA Championship 2014: staff predictions

Staffers from, Sports Illustrated and Golf Magazine reveal who they think will take home the Wanamaker Trophy at the 96th PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky.

Cameron Morfit, senior writer, Golf Magazine (@cameronmorfit): I wish I could be counterintuitive here and pick someone like Geoff Ogilvy, but it seems sort of crazy not to pick Rory. He is driving it forever, and straight, and putting well, and looks very, very comfortable. If Valhalla gets a lot of rain, he could win by a lot — a vintage Rory performance that would remind us of the 2011 U.S. Open and 2012 PGA.

Matt Newman, senior producer, (@mattnewman_golf): Jimmy Walker: The PGA likes to see its heroes make birdies and will set up the course to ensure that happens. Only Rory McIlroy averages more per round than Jimmy Walker (4.59 to 4.24), the astronomy buff who'll capture his first career major this weekend at Valhalla.

Jessica Marksbury, associate editor, Golf Magazine (@Jess_Marksbury): I'm going with Sergio. He's playing superb golf right now, and I hope an underdog mentality will work in his favor. Everyone is expecting Rory to win his third tournament in a row, but that's exceptionally difficult. Sergio is one of the best ballstrikers out there, and if he can putt well this week, he will contend.

Sean Zak, assistant editor, Golf Magazine (@sean_zak): Graeme McDowell to win. G-Mac has finished in the top 10 in each of his last five starts, including that come-from-behind French Open victory. Valhalla might be a bit lengthy for him, but few golfers are playing better right now.

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Jeff Ritter, senior editor, Sports Illustrated Golf Group (@Jeff_Ritter): McIlroy deserves to be the favorite, but in a season where three stars of this new era have each won a big one (Bubba, Kaymer, Rory) it's time for Adam Scott to join the multi major-winner club. His worst major finish this season is 14th, he held the No. 1 ranking for most of the summer, and a long and soft Valhalla should play to his strengths. A Scott victory this week would be a fitting end to major season.

Joe Passov, senior editor, Golf Magazine (@joepassov): The forecast calls for temperatures between 84-88 degrees, with winds less than 10 miles per hour each day. Middle of August, high humidity, small but legitimate chances of rain Wednesday and Thursday. All of this adds up to a soft golf course. So I'm picking Rory McIlroy to win — by 10 shots.

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John Garrity, special contributor, Sports Illustrated (@jgarrity2): I'll take Henrik Stenson because I'm unable to stick to my vow never to pick another Swede to win a major.

Mark Godich, senior editor, Sports Illustrated (@MarkGodich): Why would anybody get off the hot horse? We'll look back at the summer of 2014 as the time when Rory McIlroy ushered in a new era in golf.

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Eamon Lynch, managing editor, (@eamonlynch): Rory. Because when he's on form he's just so much better than everyone else. And he's on form right now.

Josh Sens, contributing writer, Golf Magazine (@JoshSens): Geoff Ogilvy … Remember him? Coming off a win. An A-list talent who happens to live a well-rounded life and has not been intensely focused on his game. But when he turns it on … 

Mike Walker, assistant managing editor, (@michaelwalkerjr): It's easy to pick Rory McIlroy, but I like a hometown hero with a PGA Tour win this year at a big-time tournament and some good Valhalla vibes from the 2008 Ryder Cup: J.B. Holmes.

Alan Shipnuck, senior writer, Sports Illustrated (@AlanShipnuck): Sometimes you have to be careful not to outsmart yourself — Rory is far and away the best player in the game, he's at the height of his powers and the course suits him perfectly. Straight chalk.

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